Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:44am

According to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), there is no provision in state or federal law that allows parents to opt their children out of assessments, like the M-STEP currently being administered in schools, without it counting against their school and district’s participation rates. MDE offered its official position last week in a memo to ISD Superintendents, Local Agency Superintendents, and Public School Academy Directors.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:15am

MEA is partnering with NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to sponsor the Teaching Leadership Initiative (TLI) program. If you’re an MEA member and ready to take hold of your career and learn to lead in matters of practice and policy—if you’re an MEA member eager to make a difference in your classroom, but not sure where to begin—TLI is for you.

Posted on 03/30/15 at 9:33am

The two vendors who are currently administering the 2015 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) assessments won a three-year contract to continue their work. Data Recognition Corporation, a Minnesota-based company, and North Carolina-based Measurement, Inc. were awarded the contract by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). 

Posted on 03/25/15 at 10:10am

The Center for Michigan, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, is collecting feedback from Michigan citizens about the Michigan workforce experience through an online surveyThey’re specifically looking for information from educators like you about career navigation.

Posted on 03/25/15 at 1:20pm

The ice has melted and the roads are worse.

Michigan’s deteriorating roads and bridges pose a serious safety threat to drivers. Crater-size potholes are responsible for extensive damage to our automobiles.

Posted on 03/23/15 at 12:01pm

There is a push on for the next two weeks to ensure that reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is done right this time. It's expected that the Senate will take up the ESEA on April 14.

Senate Bill 7 passes Legislature; on its way to Governor

SB 7 has passed both the House and the Senate today and is on its way to the Governor for his signature. Earlier, both chambers accepted the legislative conference committee report for SB 7.

The bill, requiring local governments and school districts to spend no more than a certain amount on their employees’ health insurance, is a combination of both a hard cap and an 80/20 plan.

Under a hard cap, SB 7 would require public employers to pay no more than $5,500 (single--NOT $5,000 as previously reported), $11,000 (individual and spouse) and $15,000 (family coverage).  A public employer could elect the 80/20 split with employees for health care costs. While local units of government could get out of either cost-sharing plan, school districts must choose either the hard cap or the 80-/20 plan.

MEA President in the Detroit News: GOP flunks all efforts at reform

For some, summer means vacation and a break from work schedules.

Our "full-time" lawmakers are certainly taking advantage of the summer to get away from their work, which so far has included undermining due process protections for good teachers, stripping away the collective bargaining for public school employees, robbing the school aid fund and attacking the middle class.

URGENT! Contact your legislators now! Tell them to vote NO on SB 7!

State of Michigan Capitol Building
State of Michigan Capitol Building

On Tuesday, the legislative conference committee for Senate Bill 7 reported out a compromise version of this bill that continues the assault on public employee health care. Both the House and Senate are expected to vote on this final version of SB 7 tomorrow.

SB 7 would require public employers pay no more than $15,000 for family coverage, with lower thresholds applied to individuals and couples, OR elect to split the cost of health insurance 80/20 with their employees.

Local units of government -- other than school districts -- could opt out of either cost-sharing plan. School districts are required to choose either the hard cap or the 80/20 plan.

Celebrate union workers on Labor Day

MEA members and their families are invited to join the Detroit Labor Day Parade on Monday, Sept. 5, and hear the President's message. If you're joining the parade, marchers should gather between 8 and 9 a.m. at the intersection of Woodward Ave. and Peterboro St. in Detroit.

Obama to address union workers after Detroit Labor Day Parade

The Detroit Labor Day Parade has always been a big event celebrating workers, but this year the parade takes on new importance with the announcement that President Barack Obama will speak to union workers at the end of the parade.

University again refuses CMU faculty's offer to bargain

Central Michigan University
Central Michigan University

For the second time in a week, the university refused to come to the table to bargain with faculty. With the start of classes at stake last week, the university told faculty bargainers that they would not negotiate unless the faculty agreed to their proposals.

CMU faculty will obey court order; classes resume tomorrow

Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; Aug. 22, 2011 -- The Central Michigan University Faculty Association will return to class tomorrow as ordered by Circuit Court Judge Paul H. Chamberlain in a temporary restraining order issued today.

CMU faculty declares job action

Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; Aug. 22, 2011 -- The CMU Faculty Association will not be in their classrooms on Monday, Aug. 22, the first day of classes. The faculty agreed to a job action beginning 7 a.m. Monday morning. 

During the faculty’s Sunday night membership meeting, CMU students were gathered outside to show their support for faculty.

Faculty wanted to bargain on Sunday, but the university refused, stating that if their proposals were not accepted, there was no reason to meet.

Income, education level should be part of "education reform" debate

More schools failing to meet AYP, a huge jump in child poverty, and an increase in the jobless rate—what’s the impact on education and “education reform” in Michigan with a new legislative session and a new school year getting ready to start?

Legislators set to return--what's on their agenda?

Vacationing legislators will be back at work soon. Up until their summer break, they were busy focusing on attacking school employees and the middle class. And the picture doesn’t look much brighter when they return.

Expected on their agenda is:

  • SB 7 which requires public employees to pay a portion of their health insurance. The legislation was moved to a joint House/Senate conference committee where debate over an 80/20 contribution versus a hard cap has been taking place. The bill is on a fast track with a goal of getting it through the Legislature Aug. 24.
  • Right-to-Work would allow workers who don’t want to pay union dues the right to freeload—they would get the same benefits as union members without paying any union dues. Back in February, Republicans introduced HB 4054, SB 116 and SB 120 establishing “Right to Work” zones. A new group, Michigan Freedom to Work, has emerged in support of a statewide law. Gov. Snyder claims the issue is not on his agenda but he would sign it. With anti-union sentiment running so strong, he may get that chance.

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